Finding the best place to retire in the northeastern U.S. takes some digging because affordability is more often an issue there compared to other parts of the country. However, a few gems exist in several of the nine states that make up the northeastern region, that give you lower cost of living expenses or modest home prices. Most of these top locations offer access to affordable health care, and at least one offers attractive tax exemptions.
Pennsylvania does not tax retirement income after you reach 59.5 years of age, making the state attractive to retirees. If you prefer big city living, retirement in Pittsburgh includes a wealth of health care options. Retirees who are proactive fitness-wise find biking and walking trails that wind along the Allegheny, Ohio and Monongahela rivers. The typical price of a home is $130,000 with at least five retirement communities and dozens of apartment complexes geared to seniors located in and near the city. The cost of living averages 4.5 percent lower than the rest of the U.S. Another option is State College, Pennsylvania, home to Penn State University. Retiring in such a popular college town comes at a price -- the cost of living is 5 percent higher than the national average and home prices average $259,000 with at least five retirement communities serving city.
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Tax breaks aren't high on the list for retiring in Virginia, but a couple of cities give you options, including Blacksburg, home to Virginia Tech. You'll enjoy a cost of living that's 7 percent below the national average. Home prices average $210,000, according to Forbes. At least 30 retirement communities, apartments and independent living facilities serve area seniors. Winchester, located on the opposite side of the state, offers plentiful golf courses, continuing education classes at the local community college and a feeling of small town life located just 65 miles from the country's capital. The median home price is $163,400 while the cost of living is 3.5 percent lower than the rest of the country. At least 12 senior housing facilities are available in or near Winchester.
A lack of state sales or income tax in New Hampshire helps make up for the state's higher cost of living. For big-city living, head to Manchester, where you'll find plenty of affordable health care options and more than 11 senior housing facilities. The city's close proximity to New York makes it easy to head to the Big Apple when you need more cultural activities. The median home price is $226,700 while the cost of living is 8.4 percent higher than the rest of the country. If a small town with plenty of history appeals to you, consider Portsmouth with 29 options for senior housing. The city was declared one of the most culturally rich places in the U.S. by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, according to the AARP. Single family houses cost an average of almost $409,000, with abundant health care facilities available in Boston about 50 miles away.
Morgantown, home to West Virginia University, is another top retirement designation in the southwestern part of the region. While tax exemptions are minimal, the city offers plentiful medical care facilities and at least 30 options for senior housing. The cost of living is 8 percent lower than the national average with a median home price of $185,000. A college population of 110,000 students and a Social Security state tax exemption makes Springfield, Massachusetts, ideal for retirees who love the vibrancy of a college town. The mean price for a home is just above $168,000, and more than 30 options for senior housing serve the area. The cost of living is 0.6 percent below the national average.
- Forbes: Blacksburg, VA
- Kiplinger: Manchester, N.H.
- AARP: Ten Great Small Cities for Retirement
- Forbes: Winchester, VA
- Retirement Living Information Center: Taxes By State
- Senior Citizen’s Guide to Pittsburg: Affordable Housing for Seniors in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Area
- Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau: Retirement Communities